If you’re suddenly experiencing pain on one side of your jaw, it can be distressing. You’re likely wondering about what caused the pain to begin with, especially if you’re in good health and haven’t experienced any injury.

Fortunately, jaw pain is usually not serious. And in this post, we’ll go into some of the most common causes and why it happens. We’ll also talk about the symptoms and possible treatments and when you should consult a doctor.

Jaw Pain On One Side: One Serious Concern

Generally, jaw pain on one side isn’t a serious problem. But sometimes, it can be an early warning sign of a heart attack. Women experience this more commonly than men.

Some signs to look out for along with the jaw pain are:

If you’re experiencing jaw pain and have any of these symptoms, seek medical treatment immediately, as it could be an emergency.

Common, Less Serious Causes for Jaw Pain

Sinusitis is the inflammation of your nasal cavities commonly brought on by allergies, colds, or flu. Your sinuses occupy a lot of space inside your skull, and the largest ones sit just behind your face, where the cheeks lie. So if these sinuses are inflamed, you might feel pain on one or both sides of the jaw.

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) sits at the rear base of the jaw, connecting it to your skull. This joint is strong but can be injured, damaged, or misaligned. And just like any other joint, it can develop inflammation or complications from arthritis. As a result, this could cause pain on one or both sides of the jaw.

Most commonly, dental problems can lead to pain that radiates down one or both sides of the jaw. This can result from many typical oral health conditions, such as problematic wisdom teeth, cavities or tooth decay, a tooth abscess or infection, or periodontal disease. Another common issue is bruxism, where you constantly but unconsciously clench, grind and gnash your teeth.

Concurrently, you may also feel pain in one or more teeth or a specific region of your mouth. You might have trouble eating or chewing food or experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods. Any discharge of pus might indicate infection or abscess, for which you must see a doctor or qualified dentist as soon as possible.


If your jaw pain occurs along with any of the signs mentioned above, it’s important to contact a qualified medical or dental professional. Treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms, but in most common cases, jaw pain is alleviated easily, and dental concerns have established methods that lead to healthy, safe recovery.

Pasadena Dental Doc offers state-of-the-art dental care with fair, transparent prices. We specialize in a wide variety of dental procedures. In addition, we have flexible office hours and accept most insurance plans. For any questions or to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to call us at (713) 947-0293. We’re always willing to help you with your oral health.